December 2007
Volume 28 No. 6

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News You Can Use
Califa Blog Debuts - Trials and Polls
Members can now see Califa's new products at a glance, sign up for e-book and database trials, participate in polls and post comments to help prioritize offerings at Califa's new Products and News Blog. Click on the blog link, or log into the Califa website and then access the blog.

By subscribing to the blog's RSS feed, you can be alerted to updates. Periodically, Califa asks members to contribute to product reviews.

In addition to the blog and website, Califa offers several email discussion lists to help keep you informed: one for selectors and purchasing agents at member libraries, and another for those members responsible for eBook collections. To sign up for a distribution list, or to be sent the full list of available lists, please contact califa - AT - califa - DOT org.

CLA President Monique LeConge posts about Boomers
When Monique LeConge attended the training Transforming Life After 50: Public Libraries and Baby Boomers, she was impressed by the impact and the opportunities that this wave of semi-retirees will have on the library. Boomers have the expectations of living an active meaningful second half of life, and many define "old age" as beginning at 100.

She cited an example to increase boomers' use of the library and to raise public awareness from the public library in Tempe, Arizona. The proceeds from the library's cafe support Tempe Connections, a non-profit program that offers a volunteer-matching service and classes on financial planning, wellness, life-planning, and career coaching for baby boomers and older adults.

Joan Frye Williams and Maze of Technology at CLA
If you missed Joan Frye Williams' prognostications at CLA, they are now on the Infopeople blog in two parts. Part 1 and Part 2. Here are just a few of her predictions:

  • Retiring baby boomers will demand elaborate summer reading programs for adults.
  • Demand-based dynamic shelving algorithms will replace the Dewey Decimal System.
  • Public libraries will offer summer “reading camp” programs in collaboration with the YMCA.
  • VISA will add a universal library card privilege to its credit cards, effectively preauthorizing users to borrow materials from any participating library.

One of her predictions, green building plans, are already being implemented. For example, San Mateo's new main library building, because of its energy-efficient HVAC systems, under floor air supply, windows and skylights, and building orientation, operates 60% of the time without heating or cooling. Also, rainwater is collected from the roof for plant irrigation.

Maze of Technology
Infopeople showed off podcasting, videocasting, and other low-cost DIY web publishing tools in its Maze of Technology, shown on several YouTube videos. Many attendees played with the Maze's gadgets and games. Everything that was displayed at the Infopeople's Maze of Technology booth is posted with photos and product lists, at Joint Booth.

Free for All - Don Borchert
Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library, published by Virgin Books, is a memoir by Don Borchert, from the Torrance Public Library in Southern California, which chronicles his life and work at his branch.

Jack Boulware, San Francisco writer and co-founder of the Litquake literary festival reviewed the memoir in the San Francisco Chronicle, November 11, 2007, p. M6. Boulware's favorable review appreciates Borchert's humor, discusses the "uncharted territory" behind the desk and expresses new-found appreciation of staff he had previously taken for granted.

As a result of the publication of Borchert's memoir, the November 1 Library Journal ran an interview of Borchert by Norman Oder which concludes with Borchert's advice for prospective librarians: "The library is not going to be the library it is ... Young people with enthusiasm should be’s a wonderful thing to get into."

How I See It: My Place: Digital Photography Documentary Project for Teens
The newest segment in the California Stories: How I See It initiative, sponsored by Califa and the California Council for the Humanities (CCH) and supported by the California State Library, will provide all the resources librarians need to successfully implement a ten-week digital photography documentary project for teens: activities, equipment, supplies, funds and training. Please note the following dates:

  • Thursday, January 17, 2008 - Deadline to apply for the grant
  • February 2008 - Awards decisions announced
  • Summer and Fall 2008 - Programming will occur

For more information, go to CCH's My Place page or contact CCH Senior Programs Manager Felicia Kelley - fkelley- AT - calhum - DOT - org.


Upcoming Events and Training
Peggy Sharp - What’s New in Children’s Literature and How to Use It in Your Program - Two locations - February 12 and 13, 2008
BALIS/MOBAC/PLS/SVLS is sponsoring two workshops with Peggy Sharp, renowned children’s literature expert and winner of national awards. Dr. Sharp will present the best new children's books and suggest strategies to help students get the most out of books without destroying the pleasure of reading. The workshop is being hosted twice to accommodate more participants.

Sign up online using the links above for the location you want.
Cost: $45, to be invoiced to your library.

For program information: Sarah Kimmel, Assistant Services Director, 650-356-2129
Program flyer

Duncan Smith -We Recommend - Readers Advisory - April 30, 2007
The SVLS Adult Services Committee is pleased to invite all staff in BALIS, PLS and MOBAC systems to its readers' advisory workshop conducted by Duncan Smith, creator of Novelist. Staff can develop their RA skill and utilize suggestions from the workshop to promote readers' advisory services. The workshop is being hosted in two sessions on one day to accommodate more participants.

Cost: $20, to be invoiced to your library.
Register online. Cost: $20, to be invoiced to your library.

For program information: Joan Bowlby, SVLS Adult Services Chair: 408-808-2049
Program flyer

Infopeople's Workshop - Web 2.0 for Staff Training
Several member libraries have used Web 2.0 tools for staff training. Compare Web 2.0 tools with traditional training. These are additional dates added to accommodate demand. Sign up online. $75 registration fee.

Certified Public Library Administrator Local Courses
Register now to assure your place in either of these two preparatory courses for the Public Libraries Association certification, Certified Public Library Administrator (CPLA). The basic content of the workshops is of equal interest to librarians pursuing certification and librarians desiring to enhance their professional skills in more informal way. The workshops have been designed to be practical rather than theoretical and include interactive exercises and group work. 

February 19-20, 2008: Budget and Finance, with Sandra Nelson
(Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, San Jose)

April 29-30, 2008: Fundraising, with June Garcia
(Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, San Jose)

Information, full schedule, instructor profiles, CPLA description and registration


News from our Members
Hayward and San José Use Lessons from Retail in Library Layout
San José Public Library and Hayward Public Library were awarded an LSTA grant for 2006-2007 to analyze library customers' behavior in relation to the layout of the library public-service area. To conduct the analysis and learn from retailers' experience, the project engaged the retail consultant Envirosell to investigate how library customers navigate and use "traditional" versus "new, updated" library space and to make recommendatons. Envirosell, founded by Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, uses lessons learned from shoppers' behaviors in stores, validated moves to "zoned" spaces, more accessible collections and intuitive layouts, as well as recommended similar changes for Hayward. These libraries continue to use principles learned from the study to guide improvements in customer service and wayfinding. After receiving many inquiries, San José now offers consulting. Presentations, reports and analyses were recently posted on the San José Public Library website at LIBRARIES ~ The San José Way. The PowerPoint presentations show "before" and "after" views and summarize key recommendations.

If your library has interesting statistics or press releases, please share them with your staff, post them on committee listservs, and send them to Mary Beth Train for inclusion in Search. One good idea begets another!


BALIS/PLS/SVLS System Reference Center


For libraries to submit an article for Search or a suggestion, email Mary Beth Train at train-AT-plsinfo- DOT - org.
Find Search archives at Search Newsletters.

We're part of the Library!

To send a Second Level reference request:

  • Web form
  • Email us at info -AT-plsinfo- DOT -org
  • Fax: (650) 349-5089 or (800) 505-5583
  • Phone: (650) 349-5538 or (800) 644-6244

System Reference Center Flyer Use for staff orientation and training.


Who we are:

Linda Crowe -

Executive Director,
Gail McPartland -
Assistant Director, Services,
Mary Beth Train -
Search Editor
Angel Kao - Program Assistant


Volume 28 Number 6